Kevin L. Smith selected to be the next dean of KU Libraries

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

LAWRENCE — Kevin L. Smith, director of copyright and scholarly communication at Duke University, will join the University of Kansas in May as dean for KU Libraries.

Kevin L. Smith, new dean of KU Libraries

Smith will succeed interim co-deans Kent Miller and Mary Roach, who assumed their roles following the departure of Dean Lorraine Haricombe. Haricombe was named vice provost and director of libraries at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.

During his tenure at Duke, Smith advised faculty, staff and students on issues of copyright, intellectual property licenses and scholarly publishing. Smith played a vital role in coordinating online publishing, offered instructional opportunities on copyright, and increased awareness surrounding intellectual property and open access to the Duke community and beyond. 

“I’m excited Kevin Smith will join us at the end of the semester,” said Sara Rosen, interim provost and executive vice chancellor. “His multifaceted background and experience will provide new perspectives to the important and essential services KU Libraries offer the KU community and the state. I’m confident he also will continue to enhance KU Libraries’ reputation for innovation and progress.” 

Smith earned a J.D. from Capital University Law School, a master’s degree in library science from Kent State University and a master of arts in religion from Yale University Divinity School. Prior to his work at Duke, Smith was the director of Library and Instructional Resources at Defiance College. Smith has also worked as an instructor, reference librarian and assistant librarian. He has an impressive list of published articles, keynote addresses and essays. 

“Kevin is a well-known leader in the field of scholarly communications, and we are pleased to welcome him to KU,” Roach said. “He has a robust vision for the future of research libraries, and we look forward to supporting him in his new role as we collectively work to move the libraries forward.” 

In his new role, Smith will oversee the largest library system in Kansas with 1.6 million visits per year, more than 4.4 million print volumes in seven campus facilities and 110,000 full-text journal titles online. KU Libraries also continue to be international leaders in open access, becoming the first public university institution in the United States to adopt a faculty-led open access policy. 

“I want to thank the search committee, which was led by Spencer Museum of Art Director Saralyn Reece Hardy, and all those who took part in the search process for this excellent addition to the KU leadership team,” Rosen said.

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